Romanian metallers Gothic just released their latest album called Demons. DutchMetalManiac’s Julia Obenauer already reviewed it here and now you can also read her interview with Gothic below!
Hey guys! Thank you for doing this interview with DutchMetalManiac. Could you briefly introduce your band?
Gothic is one of the oldest names in the Romanian metal history, being formed in 1992, a truly dedicated pure metal band.
You’re in the business for 25 years already, but had quite a ride until now. Do you care to tell us about the band history?
The whole thing started in December 1992, when 3 teenager metalheads drinking a beer in the newly opened (at the time) Barock Petrosani (and now the oldest rock club in Romania) decided to form a band. After playing a lot as a trio in the rehearsal room, the band decided to join forces with a second guitarist (Marius ‘Ciuca’ Vodnar), who brought a lot of creativity and musical inspiration to the band. The results were great, so in 1995, after recording 2 demos, the band registered to a band contest in the only rock show at the national television at the time. (‘Intalnirea de la miezul noptii’ – ‘The midnight gathering’). Unexpectedly, we won the first prize, so this is when things begun to roll. We got support from the media, including a lot of TV appearances, got invited to tons of festivals and shows and won a lot of fans all over the country. Later on, in 1997, we recorded our first album on tape (Touch Of Eternity – Bestial Records), that sold in more than 3000 copies at the time. We still play some of those songs, as the older fans are still craving for them. Gothic was disbanded in 1998, as their members grew apart, in different musical directions. Me, I emigrated to Belgium, where I formed the band Innerfire and had an album published at Painkiller Records. When I returned to Romania, in 2005, I reformed Gothic, with a new line-up, as the original members were not living in our hometown anymore. We begun to play a lot all over Romania, and also a few foreign countries, but unfortunately the frequent line-up changes prevented us to record a new album. It wasn’t until 2011, when we got a more stable line-up, that we begun recording a new album, at Consonance Studio Timisoara (the studio belongs to Dordeduh, the ex-Negura Bunget people, you know the story..) The recording took one year all in all, and the album Expect The Worst was released in early 2013 in an autoproduced manner. In 2012 we also won the national Wacken Metal Battle, and we went to Wacken to represent Romania. The live activity was very intense since 2012, and even if we changed our singer and the second guitarist left us, we now have a stable formula and we feel like we could continue for many years ahead. In 2014 we started composing the new songs at a cabin in the mountains, and later we begun recording the drums at the same Consonance Studio in Timisoara. The rest of the instruments were recorded in our rehearsal room, and the final mix belongs to Nimrod Szedlacsek, a brilliant Romanian producer.
Your band name is a bit misleading at first, as you’re a melodeath band. How did you come up with the name?
Back in 1992 we were big fans of Paradise Lost. The name of their album Gothic sounded great at the time, as it wasn’t yet a denomination of a music genre.
Let’s talk about your new album, Demons. It’s got good reviews so far, and I personally loved it as well. How did you guys approach the songwriting and the recording?
It was a long job. I usually record all my ideas on my computer. When, in October 2014, I already had a lot of riffs written down, I decided, along with the other guys from the band, to take a minimum of stuff (like little amps, drums and guitars) to a cabin in the mountains that belongs to our drummer, Vlad. We spent a few days in the mountains, far from civilization, the magic worked, and we came down with 4 songs that we put together in those blessed days. The other 4 songs were put together later, and this is how Demons came to life. The whole process of recording was documented and can be watched here.
How long did it take to get the whole album done?
It was a process that took exactly 2 years. Of course, it was done in phases. First we recorded the drums for the initial 4 songs, then the other 4 songs were recorded one by one, in our rehearsal room, as they were composed. Then I cleaned, arranged, cut and mixed the whole lot for a few months, I sent the stem tracks to Nimrod, our producer, and he worked for one more month to the final mix. In September 2016 Loud Rage Music approached us to release the album, we agreed upon it, and since the release, they did a very good job !
What I really loved is that you blended in some of the typics of other metal genres, like doom or heavy metal. To call you a melodic death metal band would not give your sound justice. Did you always experiment with different styles?
Pretty much. We always were big fans of both classic metal and the newer forms of metal. The music is a combination of all of our musical preferences.
Can we anticipate on another record soon? Any plans in that direction?
We are really slow with recording new albums, so I don`t think another product will come to life before 2019. As for the new direction, I would like to try to continue to experience the path we’ve written for ourselves, as I consider our music totally original.
You’re considered one of Romania’s big names in metal, but this country’s metal scene is not so well-known here in Western Europe. What’s your view on Romania’s metal scene? Any names we should look out for?
I think that we are lucky to live in a big country where metal is alive and well, we have a solid metal scene, along with many clubs, festivals, organisers, people involved, etc. What we lack is a stronger support from the media, both mainstream and underground. But things are getting better slowly. As for the bands, there are plenty of great rock & metal bands in Romania: Altar, Taine, Guerillas, Cargo, Nightloosers, Bucovina, Hteththemeth, Dirty Shirt, Dordeduh, E-an-na, Invader, For The Wicked, L.O.S.T. among many, many others, that I strongly recommend you to check out!
Any other bands or records you are particularly into these days?
As in the last 2 years I was really busy to record and mix my album, and also other bands, I wasn’t able to pay much attention to the newer releases, so I am kinda stuck with the classics, I mean, I got the new albums from the big names (like for example, I adore the new Sepultura – Machine Messiah), but haven’t got time to discover any new bands. I will do that really soon.
You won the Wacken Open Air metal battle in 2012 and represented Romania there. How was it to play at such a big event? Any cool memories on or off the stage you feel like sharing?
It was one of the best experiences of our lives. We were treated there as every other bands, no matter how big. I remember we had dinner among members of Helloween and Opeth. The gig itself was great, as around 10000 people attended to our show. We also have met a few of our idols, who played Wacken in 2012 (Testament, Scorpions, Cradle Of Filth, Overkill, Doro, among tons of others). It was truly great!!
What was the best gig/tour you played so far?
The highlights were Wacken, also Ostfest 2012 (where we met Lemmy), Rockstadt Fest 2013, Barock Fest, and pretty much all of our gigs. We have a strong fan base, people are attracted to Gothic, and we’re giving them back a lot of energy! We are pretty happy with that!
Do you have a fund or bizarre story from on the road you feel like sharing?
Our most bizarre trip ever was playing in India (January 2017), where we played in a festival with Katatonia. It was the most exotic place we’ve ever been, and a video documentary will be out soon. We have a lot of videos from the road here.
Any upcoming tours here in Europe we can look forward to?
This year we are scheduled to play an indoor fest in Dresden, Germany, on 6th October, in Skullcrusher Club, and we will play a few dates in Czech Republic as well. We will probably play in Belgium too, as we do every year. Otherwise, we are playing almost every weekend in Romania, to present our new album. More dates will be announced soon !
Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?